Hot Weather Tips for Your Pet
Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent
overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog
still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often than usual can
prevent problems caused by excessive heat. As far as skin care, be sure that
any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled
specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on
hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly,
and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and
rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if
ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of
areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.
Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as
well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison
Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the
food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. "Keep alcoholic
beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and
comas," says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Animal Health
Services. "Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends
should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may
give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions,
chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol."
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July
celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. "Exposure to lit
fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and
even unused fireworks can be hazardous," says Dr. Hansen. "Many types of
fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate,
copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals."
Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are
good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear
devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine
or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which
contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.